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Biden Nominates Judge Carlton Reeves to Become US Sentencing Commission’s First Black Chair

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President Joe Biden has nominated U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves of the Southern District of Mississippi to serve as the U.S. Sentencing Commission chair.

If confirmed, Reeves will make history as the first African American to serve as chair of the group.

The bipartisan agency, located in the judicial branch of government, was created by Congress in 1984 to diminish sentencing disparities and foster transparency and proportionality in sentencing.

Reeves has served as a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi since 2010. He was also previously a partner at Pigott Reeves Johnson & Minor, P.A. from 2001 to 2010.

Prior to this, Reeves served as Chief of the Civil Division for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi. From 1991 to 1995 and as an associate at Phelps Dunbar LLP. Judge Reeves received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1989 and his B.A. from Jackson State University in 1986.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi’s only African American and Democratic, lauded the potentially history-making nomination.

“I support the appointment of Judge Carlton Reeves on being named head of the United States Sentencing Commission,” Thompson said. “It is a pleasure to witness the first Black judge to be appointed chair of the commission.”

Reeves has been vocal in the past about trying to right the wrongs of America’s dark racial history.

“Mississippi has expressed its savagery in a number of ways throughout its history ā€” slavery being the cruelest example, but a close second being Mississippi’s infatuation with lynchings,” said Reeves.

Other nominees include Laura Mate, Claire McCusker Murray, Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo. Judge Claria Horn Boom, Judge John Gleeson, and Candice C. Wong were also nominated as Vice-Chair,

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